Category Archives: Energy

Rep. Paul Anderson (12B) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbor,

With the 2014 legislative session not slated to start until late February, this week was designated for early committee work in St. Paul. Two of the committees I serve on, the Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture Finance, along with Housing, had meetings scheduled.

In the Ag. Finance Committee, we heard testimony from two University of Minnesota professors regarding weed resistance to the glyphosate family of chemicals, more commonly known as Round-Up. Farmers have long known that continued use of one particular family of chemicals can give rise to weed resistance, and we are seeing that happening. Changing crop rotations, and using chemicals with different modes of action can help alleviate the problem.

In the Housing committee, we heard testimony on a bill that would require mediation as part of the process when homes are being foreclosed. Minnesota already has a provision that allows counseling for those going through this difficult process, and we were told that nearly 50 percent of those who choose counseling are able to obtain loan modifications that enable them to stay in their homes.

Propane hotline opens

I sent a legislative update last week talking about a propane shortage that is causing widespread problems, including here in our area. Minnesota has joined other states in declaring a state of emergency and a hotline opened Thursday to help citizens. News reports indicate staff fielded more than 80 calls yesterday alone.

The Minnesota Department of Commerce can provide callers with information regarding Energy Assistance Programs, connect people with resources in their home county and more. Call the hotline at 1 (800) 657-3504 between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., or click here to access information online.

I hope you find this information helpful as we try to work through this issue. I will keep you posted as things develop.

Sincerely,

Paul

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Rep. Paul Anderson (12B) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbor,

Several factors, called by some a “perfect storm,” have come together this winter to cause a spike in the price of LP gas, used by many to heat their homes or livestock barns.

In the past week, the price of LP has doubled and the end may not be in sight. That’s because our extremely cold weather shows no sign of breaking just yet. Forecasts call for more snow this weekend, accompanied by high winds and temperatures expected to fall below zero once again.

I was in contact with the governor’s office yesterday and was told they are well aware of the situation. Supplies of LP gas are still flowing into the state, by rail and by pipeline. The problem is that more product is being taken out of the system than is being replaced. And the price is skyrocketing. LP gas that sold for around $2 per gallon a couple of weeks ago is now going for well over $4. Earlier this week, the price jumped by 60 cents one day and 70 cents the next.

Price is one issue, and supply is another. One area retailer is limiting deliveries to 100 gallons. And as suppliers must send trucks farther and farther, sometimes as far as Kansas, to replenish their supply, the cost goes up.

It’s expected this spike in price will not last long once this cold snap ends. So another reason for not taking large deliveries is to prevent having high-priced product in tanks while the price is coming down again.

If you want more detailed information on the subject, I have included links to two articles that do a good job in describing what has led to this situation. This is not just a Minnesota problem as many other states are experiencing the same situation. As one of the articles explains, Texas has passed an emergency declaration that should help bring more product north to where it’s needed.

The two links are listed here:

US propane shortage deepens as cold snap reaches Midwest

Texas is open for business to help relieve national propane shortage

Trying to conserve supplies of LP may be the best short-term solution for consumers as we work through this temporary shortage. Historically, the coldest temperatures of the season occur in mid to late January, so we should be turning the corner to warmer weather soon.

Take care,

Paul